DC Direct Deluxe 13"

Seems like just a couple weeks ago that I reviewed the last 13" superhero from DC Direct. was! That was Batman, but this time around it's one of his arch-enemies, Two-Face.

Two-Face was once the DA Harvey Dent, but a terrible attack by the crime boss Maroni left him scarred on one side of his face. This releases a latent multiple personality disorder, and Two-Face turns to a life of crime. To make any important decision, like who to vote for in American Idol, he flips a two headed coin, one side of which is scarred with an X.

This guy shipped last week to your local comic shop and to online retailers. He runs around $50 at most retailers, although it depends greatly on the comic shop.

Packaging - ***1/2
You know, these boxes are really starting to grow on me. The cover art is great, the art on the tray is nice, the text is good, and they take up as little space as possible. And yet, the presentation of the figure is well done. My only complaint that holds them back from the four star treatment is the twisties this time. They still have 4 or 5 twisties here, and I could really do without them. Most sixth scale packaging for high end items like this has found ways to get rid of them, so there's really no excuse.

Sculpting - **1/2
If I could split the head sculpt in two, I'd give the left (scarred) side ***1/2, while the normal right side gets just **. Add in the fisted hands, and you get a low overall for this category.

I really do like the scarred side. There's good detail, and even the freaky hair is captured well, always a tough sculpt. Although it's got plenty of detail, it still maintains that generic comic book look, rather than a more grotesque realistic look.

It still has a nice grotesquery about it though.  The lips are burned back from the teeth in a revolting grin, and the blood shot eye does look like it's popping right out of the skull.  The line separating the two halves is slightly jagged and irregular, not a perfect split between good and evil.

Unfortunately, the normal side of the face steps outside the comic book and lands in the department store. The normal side is very much a mannequin sculpt, and not a very expensive mannequin either. The hard plastic looks cheap, and the paint job (more on that in a minute) doesn't do anything to help. On top of all that, this normal appearance is way too Ken-doll, looking too weak and soft of character for the hard driving Harvey Dent.

The head's a tad undersized for this gargantuan body too, which tends to be a consistent issue for superheroes, and their super villains.

The standard hands are sculpted into fists, which is fairly useless for a figure like Two-Face. The standard hands could have been gun holding fists, with some sort of gesturing hands as a swap out accessory, but instead we get the usual fists with bendy hands in the box. The hands, and the associated wrist joints, is easily the one consistent problem that this whole series has.

And lest you think I've softened, the massive size of the base body is still an issue for me. I would have much preferred this line in a true sixth scale, instead of this oversized 13" Harlem Globetrotters version of sixth scale.

Paint - **1/2
The paint didn't do a lot to help the normal faced sculpt, and in fact, probably added to the mannequin appearance. On the scarred side, things are better, but not enough to save the score overall.

The scarred side has that nice sickly green color, with some highlighting of the sculpt detail with a slight wash. The wild eye looks great, with some terrific bloodshot work, and here the sculpt and paint work together to give you a nice, solid appearance.

The paint work on the normal side doesn't help reduce the mannequin appearance of the sculpt though, with the entire side having the same slightly glossy finish, an odd tone to the skin, and dead, lifeless eyes. The skin tone doesn't match the neck either, and it looks like he's using a fake tanner on his face but forgot to put any below the jaw line.

Articulation - ***
He sports the same body as the rest of the DC Direct Deluxe line. It has good ball jointed hips, cut biceps and thighs, double jointed knees and elbows, cut wrists and waist, a cool chest joint that works quite well, cut calves, and great ankles as well. There's plenty of articulation considering the body style, and the joints are generally tight with a good range of movement.

The exceptions are once again the wrists, which have always been the Achilles' heel of this design. The hands pop off too easily when trying to position them, and the simple cuts just don't allow for much poseability.

The other disappointment here is the ball jointed neck. The recent Batman had a terrific range of movement, but this time the Two-Face head seems to be forced down to far on the post (or it's simply too short of a post), so that it works as a cut joint, and that's about it.

But one of the issues with Batman - the visibility of the cut thighs and biceps in the tight costume - is not a problem here, and you can get quite a few interesting poses out of this guy, all without needing the enclosed display stand.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit shows some really outstanding touches that are quite impressive, but still has a couple minor issues that hold it back. However, I want DC Direct to know that the extra mile they went with this suit is not lost on me.

Two-Face would definitely have to shop at the big and tall men's store, because of this extra beefy base body used for the entire deluxe line. But if you've ever seen big men in suits - football players or wrestlers for example - they never quite look right. Big chests and wide shoulders make for oddly hanging suit coats, and it's no different for poor Two-Face. They did a pretty good job of tailoring on the shirt and pants, avoiding the silly looking tight legs on some trousers in sixth scale, but didn't manage to do a particularly pleasing job with the coat.

He definitely looks better with the jacket open, and some may prefer him with the jacket completely off. The dark, pinstriped side of his suit is made from a very high quality thin material, very much like an actual suit. The purple material on his scarred side isn't quite as nice - it's a tad 'poofy', billowing out too much - and the color doesn't match the original prototype. Still, this coat is definitely quality through and through. Look no further than the actual lining of the suit, made from a thin nylon, to see how closely they've matched the real deal.

The shirt and pants are also made with the same attention to detail and quality. One of the things that really stands out is the small buttons on the shirt, made from itty bitty rivets. These buttons look terrific, much better than the usual fake oversized ones, or worse, no buttons at all. It's little touches like this that actually make this one of the nicest suits I've seen in this scale.

There's also a great pair of black socks, just about the right length, and an excellent pair of shoes. Again, these shoes stand out from the norm, because the have ACTUAL LACES! Yes, that's right you have to tie these babies, and I don't recall ever seeing laces on a large run release like this. They've been done occasionally on the very low run, very expensive Japanese specialty market, but nothing like this on a regular edition figure that I can recall.

I'm also adding in to the outfit section one of the 'accessories', since I consider it more a part of his costume. He has a double shoulder holster for the two guns, and it's another nice piece of work. The straps are made largely from pleather, and fit snugly, yet go on and off pretty easily. There's a plastic clasp in back, but it won't really be necessary to use. The two holsters are hard plastic, and the guns fit nicely in both. He can wear the guns under the jacket undetected, always a handy feature.

I forgot to mention the tie, which is probably the one piece of the outfit that's most disappointing. It's very, very tough to do a tie in this scale, since no matter how thin the material, it's too thick to knot and look good. In fact, this tie is really tied, just like the real deal, but that makes the knot large and out of scale. Still, with the jacket open or off, it tends to look a tad bit better.

In the end, this costume is one of the nicest suits I've seen, but it needed a little more work in the tailoring department. Had they managed to get it to hang a little better on his body, it would have been four stars easy.  This is also an outfit that really improves with a redressing on your part, and a little ironing as well.  I haven't done that to mine yet, but will eventually.

Accessories -  ***1/2
Two-Face comes with several accessories, all of them sensible.

Of course, there's the bendy hands that I mentioned in the Sculpt section. These aren't as ham sized as earlier figures, but they still have issues holding the guns. You can get them to work, but sculpted gun hands would have been my preference. The bendy hands would have been less of an issue then, because you could have used them purely for gesturing poses, but with the fists as the standard hands, you'll find yourself relying almost entirely on the bendy's.

There's also the usual DC Direct stand, with the Two-Face name on the base. It works fine, although you probably won't find a lot of need to use it.

He has his trademark coin, done slightly out of scale, being much larger than a coin normally would be. But I can cut them slack here, since it's much easier to see with the nekkid eye, and easier to appreciate the detail of both sides.

The highlight of his accessories though are his two guns. Both have working slides, triggers and hammers (by 'working' I mean they all move), along with removable clips. The sculpt is good, if not entirely realistic, done in a cross between reality and comic book style. Scale is also good, and I love the use of green and black, matching up with some of the suit and face colors.

Unfortunately, the hammer on one of my two is trapped inside the slide, and was like that right out of the package. Take some care when playing around with them, since it's pretty easy to push the hammer too far in, and tough to get it back out.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is actually a very sturdy figure, with not much to break. Oh, sure, too hard of play will damage the guns, and the suit won't hold up to a mud bath, but considering the guy costs you fifty bucks, odds are little Johnny won't be taking him for run through the back yard. What's nice though is that he COULD, if this was priced in a lower range. There's nothing here that's particularly fragile or inappropriate, so kid's could have a great time with this guy. And they could use him to learn how to tie their shoes!

Value - **
At $50, he's still a good ten bucks too high. The guns are nice, and they did go the extra mile with the small details on the outfit, but playing in this range requires an awful lot these days. Find a deal around $40, and he might even get three stars in this category.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Be a little careful with the guns, since it is possible to get the moving hammer stuck up inside the slide action. Otherwise, you should be good to go!

Overall - **1/2
I waffled around on this score a lot, much more than I usually do. I really do like the accessories and suit, and there's some things here that DC Direct did that really showed their commitment to improving the line. I don't want them to think those added improvements and attention to detail isn't appreciated, like the shoelaces and buttons, but the figure still has enough issues that I couldn't give it a full three stars overall.

Obviously, the hands are going to continue to be an issue for this line. But had this head sculpt - particularly the normal side - been a better sculpt and paint job, this figure would have easily gotten the full three stars. Do that and price him around $40 - $45, and you've got a full ***1/2 stars overall.

The series has potential, and these last two versions have been good enough that I'll go back and look at perhaps picking up a couple more. But I don't want someone picking up this figure expecting Dragon or Sideshow quality on the head and paint, because it's not there yet.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - **1/2
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***
Outfit - ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value -  **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy - 
Your local shop may have him in, but prices vary wildly. Online options include:

- Amazing Toyz has him at $47.

- CornerStoreComics has him at $48.

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $48.

- YouBuyNow has him at $60.

Related Links:
I've done many, many Batman related reviews, but in related sixth scale Batman stuff:

- there's the first 13" Deluxe Batman Begins figure.

- but if you're really looking for a sixth scale Batman Begins figure, you need to look at the Takara offering, or check out there great Catwoman.

- and if you're a fan of Two-Face, check out this cool Lego set, or this nifty animated version of the character.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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